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Preserving The Stories Of The 'HIV Pioneers'

The AIDS Memorial Quilt
Elvert Barnes
Creative Commons

According to the United Nations, more people are living with HIV than have died since the epidemic began in the 1980s. There have been large medical and social advances for those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. But many of those early researchers, advocates and survivors are nearing the end of their lives. 

Wendee Wechsberg collected 29 firsthand accounts of the early days of the epidemic in “HIV Pioneers: Lives Lost, Careers Changed, and Survival” (Johns Hopkins University Press/2018). Wechsberg edited the book. She’s the director and principal researcher of the Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research Program at RTI International. She’s also the founding director of the Global Gender Center.

Guest host Anita Rao talks to Wechsberg about the importance of preserving this stories and the lessons that can be learned from them. Dr. Charles van der Horst joins the conversation. He contributed to the book, and he is an emeritus professor in medicine and infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He writes a regular column for The Herald Sun in Durham.

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Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
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